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CIOs to become in-house brokers -- and that's a good thing

Tom Kaneshige | April 16, 2014
In their new role as brokers and consultants, CIOs will be in an even more powerful positions. According to a new survey, about two-thirds of C-level executives and business unit leaders expect the IT department to have more influence on technology decisions in the future.

This legacy commitment has a consequence, the reports suggests, with fewer than one in four executives saying IT staff regularly suggest new technology solutions. In other words, emerging tech solicitation and adoption is being done on the farthest edge of a company — that is, business end-users.

"The speed of business is changing, and I think there's an inflection point where CIOs are going to have to adapt or die," Miller says, adding, "Do the future CIOs come up from our traditional IT ranks or, as the role of the IT function changes, are we going to see more CIOs come from other organizations, such as operations, sales, marketing, or even finance."

CIOs More Powerful Than Ever

But it's not all doom or gloom for the CIO; on the contrary, the future looks bright.

Miller believes the CIO's new role of broker and consultant will put them in an even more powerful position. The survey seems to bear this out: 68 percent of C-level executives and 63 percent of business unit leaders expect the IT department to have more influence on technology decisions in the future.

In a significant sign of trust, 83 percent of respondents said they are comfortable with IT staff interacting directly with important customers and partners in a consultancy role.

Truth is, technology is dramatically changing the way business departments function. From marketing to finance, sales to human resources, emerging technology is forcing them to become technology experts practically overnight. They already lean on the CIO's expertise to help them make this digital transformation.

Over two-thirds of respondents say IT is contributing more today than it did three years ago, yet companies are still in the early days of the social-mobile-cloud revolution.

"Technology is driving more of our business every day," Miller says, which makes the CIO-as-consultant and IT-as-brokerage powerful roles to affect change throughout a company.

 

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